Fort portal town is recognized as a tourism city in Uganda located in Kabarole district and Toro kingdom. Fort portal town lies on the northern foothills of Rwenzori Mountain ranges, 50km north of Kasese District close to Queen Elizabeth National Park and it is 26km from Kibale national park. Fort portal town is the center of Toro kingdom and it’s where we locate the Toro King palace. The town is the only town in Uganda with an English name built in the 1960s and was named after the British Consul General of Zanzibar, Sir Gerald Portal who came to Uganda in 1890s to formalize British protectorate ship over Uganda. Due to the development and existence of tourism sites in this town, there have been tremendous developments in the social and economic aspects. Several landmarks like hotels, restaurants, and banks have been put in place.
The existence of numerous tourist sites has ranked Fort portal as one of the best tourist destinations in Uganda. Fort Portal is where you find Kibale national park, the home of the endangered chimpanzees and 12 other different species of primates. Other tourist attractions in Fort portal include the King’s Palace, Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru caves and waterfalls, Crater lakes and Sir Gerald Portal statue is situated at the town center at the main road. This town is very famous for having Kibale National Park which has activities that attract a lot of tourists including Chimpanzee trekking, Bigodi wetlands sanctuary walks, chimpanzee habituation among others. Fort Portal is also very interesting for its abundance of the crater lakes where tourists can engage in the crater lakes tours.
The town is the main gate-away to some of the national parks including, Mount Rwenzori which can easily been spotted at the most corners of the town, Kibale national park which is 26km from the town of fort, Queen Elizabeth national park which is 3-4 hours’ drive from the town Fort portal, and Semliki valley national park which is also a 3 hours’ drive away from the town. Fort portal can be accessed via 2 routes from Kampala capital city, the nearest route being Mityana-Fort portal road taking about 5 hours’ driving. The other route would be via Mbarara town, the largest town in Western Uganda however this route is the farthest to Kasese then finally Fort portal. This route will take 8-9 hours’ drive.
Culture and Tribe
The people living around Kibale national park and fort portal town are the Batooro and the Bakiga. Though the Batooro people are natives to the region whilst the Bakiga people who migrated and settled in the region, moving from the southwestern part of Uganda. The Bakiga people have quite an interesting culture and tradition that they hold unto. They express their culture and tradition in the form of their cultural dance and language. To experience the Bakiga culture, a homestead tour would carry a better understanding of their culture to you.
The Batooro people hold a lot of pride in their cultural and ethical heritage and they are among the 5 traditional Kingdoms that still exist in Uganda. The Toro Kingdom is headed by a king locally called the “Omukama” and currently Toro Kingdom has one of the youngest kings in Africa called Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV who was crowned as a king at an age of only 3 years after the untimely death of his father Omukama Patrick David Matthew Rwamuhokya Kaboyo Olimi III in 1995.
The King’s Palace is one of those attractions to be sighted when you visit Fort portal town an area that is 26km away from Kibale national park. The palace has a lot of history that is interesting to hear about and is located on a hill giving visitors a 360 degrees panoramic view of the whole beautiful town of Fort portal. Visitors interested in cultural tours can also visit the Karambi royal tombs, a place where are the deceased kings of Toro kingdoms were buried. The site guide takes visitors through the history and also gives you a chance to look at the house with spears, drums and the tombs. The cemetery outside the royal tombs is where the royal family members are buried. The Batooro people speak a language called Lutooro.